Stanford Governance Experts Turn Spotlight on Pension Reform

Institutional investors wield tremendous influence over the management of publicly owned corporations. But they haven’t always been as vigilant at self-governance.

This “do as I say, not as I do” dilemma was the focus of the Stanford Institutional Investors’ Forum (SIIF), hosted by Stanford Law, that in June released new standards for managing pension, endowment, and charitable funds. The best practice principles, also known as the Clapman Report, attempt to address serious governance lapses that range from fraudulent investment reporting to conflicts of interest between trustees and consultants.

The SIIF Committee on Fund Governance includes some of the biggest names in institutional investing, including committee chairman Peter Clapman, former chief investment counsel of TIAA-CREF; Joseph Grundfest ’78, W. A. Franke Professor of Law and Business and a faculty director of the Rock Center for Corporate Governance; and Richard H. Koppes, of counsel at Jones Day and former deputy executive officer and general counsel, California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

“In the same way discussions about corporate governance 10 years ago eventually led to it becoming a top management priority, the Clapman Report is part of a new and important conversation taking place among institutional investors,” says Grundfest.

Following the report, which is publicly available at, the Clapman committee will launch a series of webcasts exploring governance issues.